Travel Tips

October Snow Fall Kick Starts Ski Season

5 tips to make the most of the season

The Vacationeer
Couple happily enjoying an aprés ski beverage outside in the snow.

While a large portion of the country is enjoying seasonal variations of pumpkin spice and gearing up for Halloween festivities, winter sports enthusiasts are already eyeing the slopes. It's easy to see to why — considering it's shaping up to be one of the snowiest Octobers in a decade prompting many resorts to open ski season ahead of schedule. 

On the West Coast, Mammoth Mountain is slated to open a full two weeks early, thanks to unseasonable snowfall this past week and more expected over the weekend. According to KTLA-TV, this is only the 10th time in the resort's history to open in October for skiers and snowboarders. 

Downhill skiers enjoy fresh powder in Breckenridge, Colorado.   

For adventure lovers near the Continental Divide, the news was even sweeter. The Colorado ski season kicked into gear on October 16, 2021, thanks to a storm dumping over a foot of snow in some areas. The state expects more snow this weekend. 

In honor of the powder days ahead, here are five tips to kick off your next great ski season. 

1. Choose the right time.

Depending on which mountain you plan on shredding, you may still need reservations. To make the most of your time, consider planning your trip during shoulder season and avoiding holidays.

Typically, the early-off season runs from late November through the holidays in December, whereas the late off-season runs from mid-to-late March, usually through May.

Additionally, try planning your trip during the week, which generally costs less and affords fewer crowds than weekend skiing.

2. Hit the right slopes.

Aerial view of snowcovered Breckenridge, Colorado, at sunset.    

As with most things, there are different slopes for different folks. For example, Vail and Aspen are known as the quintessential Colorado tourist destinations. On the other hand, Breckenridge offers visitors small-town charm along with heart-pumping trails and ski slopes. 

Breckenridge is also home to Valdoro Mountain Lodge, Hilton Grand Vacations' cozy Rocky Mountains hideaway, complete with ski-in and ski-out access and an on-site ski shop to make equipment rentals a breeze.

“It’s about to get magical here in Breckenridge,” said Missy B., the general manager at Valdoro Mountain Lodge. “Once the official lighting of Breckenridge occurs and everything is covered in snow, it becomes a winter wonderland.”

3. Secure your passes early.

With the Epic Pass and Ikon Pass, you can ski to your heart's content at most major ski resorts in the United States, Canada and Europe. If you act early, you can even score serious savings. For example, the Epic Pass is currently 20% off

 Snow covered ski lift with evergreen trees on either side and picturesque mountains in the distance ahead.    

4. Log some gym time.

Nurturing crucial muscle groups ahead of ski season can help you maximize your time on the slopes, stay safer and most importantly, have more fun. If you happen to live in a ski town, you probably have access to local gyms with ski-centric fitness programs, but do it yourself activities can be just as good, too.  

Ramp up your cardiovascular health by running, rollerblading or using the elliptical machine. Add in strength training, such as squats, lunges and core work for stability. But remember, it's a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.

5. Check your gear.

If you're a gear junkie, check out this pre-season checklist to make sure your gear is in tip-top shape. Even if you plan on renting your ski equipment, it's still a good idea to make sure gloves and mittens match and your ski suit is in good shape.

Read "Hilton Grand Vacations Picks: Best Restaurants in Breckenridge" for more ways to enjoy the Rockies. 

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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